About

Tower School is an independent day school in Marblehead, Massachusetts, teaching students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade eight.

Tower School was founded by Adeline Tower, who welcomed her first students in 1912, making Tower, now, one of the oldest independent schools in the Boston area. Tower's colleague, Helen Runnette, took the helm in 1917 and, for forty years, continued her predecessor’s tradition of forward-thinking education. Runnette and Tower shared the philosophy that, “Discipline of one’s self was the keynote, plus freedom to advance one’s own ideas and create new patterns of understanding in the subjects of the curriculum.”

Adeline Tower and Helen Runnette believed in educating each child to his or her greatest potential, and the Tower curriculum included academic disciplines crucial to a comprehensive education. But Runnette also stressed the importance of art and drama, and students often took field trips to farms, museums, and factories. Runnette explained: “More than saying twelve times three, more than learning to spell, more than learning ‘amo, amas, amat,’ are the fundamentals of learning how to think, how to apply one’s knowledge, how to live with one’s fellows, [and] how to develop one’s self into an efficient member of society.”

Runnette's and Tower's core values, encompassing educational philosophy and community expectations, are as relevant today as they were in 1912.

More than saying twelve times three, more than learning to spell, more than learning ‘amo, amas, amat,’ are the fundamentals of learning how to think, how to apply one’s knowledge, how to live with one’s fellows, [and] how to develop one’s self into an efficient member of society.
– Helen Runnette, Tower's second Head of School


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